Whip of the Slaver: You can choose to slide a creature less than the number of squares indicated, so the Special: is not needed. Not the rules' problem if you and your allies can't get along :P
Bestial Mind: I think all Domination effects are Charm, but leave it in anyways just in case.
Artificer: Gnomes with baby Shield. Not like the speed or size penalties will be a problem for Wizards. Looks good enough. I'd combine the Fire and Cold resistances into one ability, but that's just me.
You mean, I've finally done it? I can't... I can't believe it! They're finally balanced! Oh, thank you, thank you! I don't suppose you'd be interested in helping me put together Racial Paragon Paths for the various Hellkin breeds, would you?
Wow, someone's posting here? What, precisely, do you want to know about the Houses? I do have their fluff and I can post that here if you want, but here are the House Skills and House Feats from 3.5; if you chose to be a member of a specific House, that determined what skills counted as Class Skill for you as well as one of your two feats (you chose the other one as normal).
Astyanath House Skills: Craft (Torture Device) [Int], Diplomacy, Grovel [Cha], Intimidate, Perform, Torture [Wis] House Feat: Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Flayer) or Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Stinger)
Carthenay House Skills: Appraise, Concentration, Decipher Script, Knowledge (Architecture/Law/History/Local), Sleight of Hand, Search House Feat: Iron Will
Haimon House Skills: Concentration, Craft (Soulshaping), Decipher Script, Knowledge (Arcana/Law), Move Silently, Sorcery House Feat: Skill Focus
Lictat House Skills: Bluff, Craft (Any), Gather Information, Handle Spawn, Hide, Ride House Feat: Any
Oblurott House Skills: Appraise, Diplomacy, Drive [Dex], Handle Spawn, Knowledge (Local/Nobility/Royalty), Perform, Torture House Feat: Weapon Focus (Bite)
Riethii House Skills: Bluff, Diplomacy, Gather Information, Hide. Seduction [Cha], Sense Motive House Feat: Related Knowledge (Infernum-specific feat; chose two skills each time this feat is chosen, the character gets a +2 synergy bonus to all checks involving those two skills- the connection between the two skills must be justifiable)
Sturrach House Skills: Climb, Craft (Hellfire) [Cha], Drive, Intimidate, Knowledge (History/Infernography- that is, the Geography of Hell), Ride, Spot, Warcraft [Wis] House Feat: Martial Weapon Proficiency
Zethu House Skills: Concentration, Craft (Any), Decipher Script, Knowledge (Any), Sorcery House Feat: Exotic Weapons Proficiency (Shattergun)
If you're curious, for Houseless Demons, there's Unaligned (Survival [Wis], Torture, 4 skills of your choice), Mercenary (Survival, Warcraft [Int], 4 skills of your choice) and Free City Heresy (Craft [Any], 5 skills of your choice).
That tells me about the crunch, but how about the fluff.
I'd like to now about the history of the Houses, the jobs they would be likely to have, their relationship with one another(enemies/allies), their diet, their place in siciety, their "religion" if any, and their customs.
The default of demonic society is a blend of feudal (ranks/trappings), meritocratic (the more powerful you are, the higher you can climb) and corrupt (bribery, blackmail and assassination are common political tools). It's all founded on the principal of the Covenant; ancient curses laid upon the hellkin mean that when they truly make a promise, they give power over themselves to the person they swear an oath too. The stronger the Covenant a being holds, the more control they can exert over that hellkin- the Covenant makes them unable to fight against them, unable to resist their commands. The Free City Heresy, on the other hand, has learned to break Covenants and sort of a proto-democracy (admittedly one with heavy elements of an Orwellian dystopia and the French Revolution)- naturally, they're bitter enemies with the Houses, which (rightfully) see them as a threat to their power. Unaligned demons are not 'blood tied' to any House, though they may work for them, and Mercenaries are demons that have forsaken the Houses for a life as sellclaws (the human term would be "sellswords").
Hellkin aren't innately religious, though there is a semi-clerical faction called the Priests of the Morningstar, which isn't really detailed. As for food, demons consume a substance called "iliaster", which is extracted from mortal souls by torturing them. A demon that doesn't consume iliaster regularly dies a quick but unspeakable death, dissolving into a puddle of goo as their own organs liquify them from the inside out. They can and do eat 'mortal food', but unless soaked in iliaster it's not nutritious for them, and usually it's just for the taste.
I've reposted the basic outlines of the Houses from the Book of the Damned (Infernum PHB), but I'm hesitant to post the expanded material from the Book of the Tormentor (Infernum DMG).
House Astyanath - The Cruel 'I did not expect to meet an angel here.'
'Astyanath have always been accepting of the fallen. They welcome my kind here.'
'But do the Cruel Ones not cause the most pain and suffering of all the Houses? What liking have they for angels?'
'We suffer the most of all, and they are connoisseurs of pain. This is a gilded cage for their entertainment.'
Astyanath likes to style itself as the most cultured and civilized of the Houses. Its members are dedicated to pain. They are aesthetes of sadism and perversion. The Astyanath are arrogant beyond compare, convinced of their utter superiority - and certainly, only the Riethii exceed the Cruel Ones in political influence. For almost two centuries, an agreement called the Rose Accord has united those two Houses in alliance, making them an almost unassailable power bloc.
Their mastery of torture makes the Astyanath experts in the production of iliaster. They are master artists and expert tormentors, capable of plunging souls into unfathomable pain. The Astyanath vineyards produce the most delicious Agony and their parties are legendary affairs of decadence and excess.
The Astyanath estates are all in the Lower Pit, in the Seventh and Eighth Circles. The only Astyanath demons commonly encountered in the upper Hells are master torturers sent to deal with a particularly troublesome victim. Militarily, the Astyanath have one of the smaller standing armies, but their Joyous Legion, consisting of demons bred to feel pleasure when wounded, is justly feared. The Astyanath are also notorious for engineering wars between their enemies through cunning political stratagems.
House Carthenay - The Hoarders 'The profit margin on trade in metals is eight percent. On weapons, fifteen percent. On drugs, twenty-nine percent. On war, thirty-three percent. On souls, forty percent. What does this tell you?'
'That we should trade in souls.'
'No. That all trade is an expression of control, and that control brings power.'
The wealth of House Carthenay is legendary. Their strength is founded on the cyclopean Vaults of Mammon, where treasures beyond count or compare have been locked away for centuries. House Carthenay is the backbone of the infernal economy; the trade in souls and iliaster would collapse into open war if it were not for the Carthenay's dominating hand.
The Carthenay's wealth is not solely in coin and soul; they have extensive, heavily fortified estates throughout the pit. They have also proved willing to deal with anyone and House Carthenay merchants can be seen from the shores of the Sunless Sea to the First Circle. These merchants are glad to escape the dull bureaucracy and gray emptiness that dominates the fortresses of the House. For all their wealth and power, most elder Carthenay are utterly consumed by a dull, miserly greed. They acquire endlessly and without purpose. The halls of the House are gray, quiet places where the only sound is pens scratching in ledgers and the endless fall of dust.
House Carthenay relies on mercenary troops and an infrequent alliance with House Sturrach, originally forged to balance the Astyanath/Riethii Rose Accord. Their notorious wealth has proved to be a disadvantage in the past; Carthenay is constantly targeted by raiders and pirates hoping to loot their vaults.
House Glabretch - The Putrid The fruit in the orchards of Glabretch are living humans. They hang from the trees. Branches and twigs penetrate and perforate every orifice and organ, carrying life-sustaining sap into the human body. Each human is infected with a different cocktail of diseases, which causes them to rot and bloat even as they hang on the branches. Sometimes, grotesquely, they ripen.
The fallen never knew disease or discomfort until they entered the Pit. Sickness is the great innovation of the Glabretch. They twisted and perverted life as it first bloomed throughout creation and have used their occult diseases to rise to a position of power among the Houses. Glabretch is perhaps the most isolated of the Houses, the unwelcome black sheep of the Hellish family. If the other Houses had their way, the Glabretch estates would be sealed off, the Glabretch demons would be banished or destroyed and the name of the Putrid House would be forgotten.
However, Glabretch is virtually unassailable. Its army is one of the strongest, but more than that, the thought of what the filth-sorcerers of the Glabretch must have hidden in their vaults and pits terrifies even the demons. Should Sturrach or Haimon wipe out the Glabretch, then surely some terrible and lethal plague would be loosed on the Houses. Hell might be emptied of demon-kind in a single day.
Even just ignoring the Glabretch is not an option. The House's scions have the irritating ability to thrive anywhere in the Pit. Any marginal land or blasted wastes can be claimed as Glabretch estates and swiftly converted into plague pits through Putrid magic. While the Glabretch holds are still centered mostly on the Fifth Circle, they have claimed much of Upper Hell unofficially. Their expansion is still curtailed below the Styx (indeed, Glabretch nobles intending to visit the House Citadel in Malebolge must either be summoned or else travel in enclosed gondolas or carriages).
Glabretch finances are in poor shape; they take much more delight in inflicting new and amusing diseases on their slaves than on working them for iliaster. Therefore, the Glabretch give their demons an unprecedented degree of independence in furthering the House's interests. Opportunism is next to filthiness in the eyes of the Glabretch.
House Haimon - The Deathly In the heart of every Haimon fortress, there is a bell made of a single huge skull dipped in bronze. It tolls sometimes, in the night, but makes no sound. This is the ninety-third secret of Haimon. The elders of the House listen solemnly to the tolling of the bell, but never reveal what it whispers to them.
In their mansions carved of bone, the silent lords of Haimon rule over a kingdom of the dead. They are the necromancer-lords, the masters of death. They are quietly, coldly fascinated by the transition from life into death. They care little for tormenting souls - they care little for anything - but death obsesses them.
The Haimon have the largest stock of damned souls of all the Houses, but they seem to have little interest in their wealth. Their stalkers are especially skilled at finding and retrieving souls and the House harvests more souls in the Upper Hells than any three other Houses combined. They put their damned slaves to work for them, so are not as awash in iliaster as they could be. The Haimon could indulge themselves in excesses that could make the Oblurott blush, but they are focused on their necromantic arts to the exclusion of all pleasure or distraction.
This attitude and mysterious, sinister purpose makes the Haimon the wild card in the politics of the Pit. Their armies have been dispatched to support one House or another in the wars, but they make no long-term alliances. They attend the councils in Pandemonium, but have little interest in dealing with the other Houses except when the Haimon need something.
The Haimon estates are located in the Second and Third Circles. They are cold, grim places, quiet as the empty grave.
House Lictat - The Usurpers 'Who is Lictat?'
'The founder of our House, of course, just as Riethii made the Riethii or Sturrach made the sons of Sturrach.'
'The only demon to bear the name Lictat was slain two hundred years before House Lictat dragged itself up from the gutter. Why do you honour it so?'
'Perhaps a new House must make a heritage for itself from scratch.'
'That is a lie.'
'So it is. Lictat himself would have approved.'
The Lictat is an uneasy compromise between the ancient and inviolate traditions of the other eight Houses and the unthinkable revolutions of the Free Cities. House Lictat is comprised of demons from half-a-dozen lesser houses that banded together. Such alliances are not unusual, but normally last only for a short period before they tear themselves apart. The Lictat Pact was different.
In the deepest Hell, in the place called Malebolge there are ten valleys. One is the road to Pandemonium. Eight of the others hold the great palaces of the Houses. The ninth valley holds a ninth palace, which in the oldest records of the city was once ruled by a ninth House. The House is long since gone, and the gates of its palace were sealed by impenetrable sorcery. The Houses had warred over it for a time and then gave up when it proved inaccessible.
Thirty years ago, the eight Houses awoke to find that the gates of the palace had opened and that the Lictat had claimed it.
Of course, the established Houses were unwilling to share power with a newcomer, and House Lictat had to defend itself. It recruited new members from among the deposed demons of the Upper Hells. Its motley army of free damned, renegade demons, deserters and fallen angels managed to survive - and then the revolt of Dis transferred the wrath of the Houses from the Malebolge up to the Sixth Circle.
The upper echelons of House Lictat are a mystery, even to its own members. The 'middle management' of the House, its diplomats and captains and estate-managers, are all either members of the original coalition of lesser Houses or else are new recruits. The masters of House Lictat are unknown, shadowy figures, more defined by their absence than their presence. Some suggest they are fallen angels, or that the House is a puppet run by Haimon or Riethii or another faction. It is this uncertainty that has kept most of the free demons from flocking to Lictat's banner - the House offers legitimacy, but at what price?
Lictat's estates are concentrated in the wastelands of Upper Hell, where they clash with Glabretch for unclaimed territory.
House Oblurott - The Gross 'Why eat food like a mortal, when all the demon form requires is iliaster?'
'You think like a Haimon, my lad! Consider the Great Chain of Being; the little plants and lichens thrive on the light from the Morningstar; the lesser spawn and the mortals feed on them, the bigger spawn eat them, and we eat the bigger spawn! In doing so, we consume all that brings strength and health.'
'I see no health or special strength here. I think you should reconsider your policies.'
'Shut up, food. I'm tired of talking to you.'
More and more and more - that is the Oblurott way. They crave excess in all things, but especially in food. They are gluttons beyond compare. In the massive feasts of House Oblurott, mortals are packed full of food until they explode and the demons eat the bursting entrails; they warp spawn into greasy cathedrals and eat their very feast-halls; they eat and eat and eat and drink and drink and drink and are still not satisfied.
The Oblurott are not subtle. They know what they like, what they need, and will go to any lengths to get it. The other Houses, especially the arch and haughty Astyanath, dislike dealing with the Gross, but even they must appreciate the Oblurott's strength and directness. While other Houses will hesitate before committing their troops or iliaster to a cause, the Oblurott charge ahead - waiting means time away from the dinner table. That said, rousing the Oblurott from their gluttonous sloth is difficult. This combination of unpredictable inaction and direct attack has served the Oblurott well in the past.
The Oblurott armies rely heavily on specially bred spawn. A side effect of the Oblurott's vast food farms is the production of especially dangerous war-beasts, which are kept starved so they can feast on the enemy. The victorious Oblurott then eat their war-beasts. The Oblurott estates are located throughout the Pit, but their most fertile are on the muddy Third circle.
House Riethii - The Seducers On the Seventh Circle, there stands a place called House of Joy, where the most beautiful of the young Riethii are sent. There, they are taught two things. Firstly, how to reduce any being, even the most innocent or strong-willed, into a quivering thing of insatiable lust. And secondly, how to suppress their own pleasure or joy in any act. In that House, the elders of the Riethii forge their weapons for the next age of the war.
If the Astyanath indulge in the glories of pain, then House Riethii is utterly dedicated to the pursuit of the pleasures of the flesh - or so they claim. In truth, Riethii is just as fascinated with pain; the pain of obsession, of craving, of twisted lust and depravity. The elder scions of Riethii are utterly jaded; there is no variation, no perversion they have not tried, but still they desperately try to satisfy their empty desires.
Politically, the Rose Accord binds the Riethii to the Astyanath in an unholy alliance. The bond has been profitable for both Houses; the Riethii have the edge in sorcery and sheer number of souls, while the Astyanath have more efficient iliaster production and a more powerful army. Together, the Rose Accord has ensured the prosperity of the two Houses.
House Riethii's spies and seducers ensure that it has the best intelligence network of any of the Houses; like its allies in Astyanath, Riethii prefers to avoid war through deception and blackmail. The House's estates are mostly in the Seventh and Eighth Circles.
House Sturrach - The Bloody 'What will the Sturrach do when there is no more Hell to conquer?'
'We shall storm Heaven and slaughter angels by the flock.'
'Grind the mortal world beneath our heel.'
'Find new worlds to invade.'
'War without end, then?'
'War without end. That is the plan.'
The armies of House Sturrach have drowned the Infernum in blood a thousand times, and will do it a million times more. Theirs is the pre-eminent army of Hell, theirs is the spoil of skulls and the hellfire blast. In truth, it is fairer to say that the army of Sturrach has a noble House attached to it; the needs of the army take precedence over all else in the House. Every high- ranking demon is a general or war-sorcerer; almost every lowly demon is a foot soldier in the hellish legion.
Several times, House Sturrach has threatened to conquer the entire Pit; at the height of its power, Sturrach legions controlled very Circle from the First to the shore of the Styx. An alliance of the other Houses, combined with infighting among the Sturrach leadership led to the defeat of the Sturrach armies in the Battle of the Ash Ghosts. Since then, House Sturrach has been closely watched by the other Houses; any advancement on its part is quickly opposed by a coalition. The Sturrach have managed to establish an alliance with the bankers of House Carthenay, but this is more to balance the Rose Accord and for the Carthenay to put a brake on Sturrach ambition than anything else. The Sturrach profit more from the alliance; they need conquests or outside support to avoid mass starvation.
The Sturrach estates - or, more accurately, military fortresses - are mostly on the war-torn Fifth Circle.
House Zethu - The Unveilers The fires of Moloch burn ceaselessly. Day and night, the machines grind on. Once, production capacity was limited by the weaknesses of fatigued flesh. Now they replace tired limbs with steam appendages and exhausted minds with spells and cogs. The lights never go out and the machines never stop.
The House of the Unveilers is the smallest of the demonic Houses. Zethu's estates are the smallest and its numbers the least of any of its peers. Despite this, Zethu is perhaps the most influential House in the present day. Zethu's talents lie in the fields of engineering and sorcery. They have, in their own eyes, brought the Infernum out of the dark ages and into an era of progress. In ages past, demons would torture individual souls and fight with crude swords and claws. Now, tens of thousands of damned be tormented by cunning agony-fuelled machines and the battlefields are torn by hell-cannon blasts and stalking bio-mechanical war-beasts.
This is progress.
Zethu's meteoric rise from the least influential House to rulers of Hell has been stalled by the revolt of Dis and the Free Cities. Of all the Houses, Zethu lost the most influence - indeed, no-one is quite sure how much of Zethu's strength has been lost, and many suspect that the House is now something of a paper tiger. The Zethu made many enemies during their rise and if Dis is not returned soon, these enemies may bring the Unveilers down.
The estates of House Zethu are primarily located on the Sixth Circle.
This is wonderful, just what I wanted. Astyaneth=pain/sadism/masochism, Carthenay=Greed/buerocracy, Glabretch=disease/pestilence, Haimon=death/undeath?, Lictat=????/usurpers/Envy/Pride?, Oblurott=Gluttony, Riethii/Lust/pain/pleasure, Sturrach=Wrath/war, Zethu=curiosity/knowledge/
Although, now I need more crunch; The technical aspects of Iliastor and how its poduced, for that matter what are a Soul's stats, what are the effects of a covenant, and what exactly are the Priests of the Morningstar?(And is that Morningstar as in "The Morningster"?)
What are the methods of torture and how does that effect the statistics? Does the Iliaster come from how much the soul is wounded or how much pain it feels?
Maybe you should make the Astyaneth's Joyous Legion a paragon path, or maybe an enemy encounter would work better.
Maybe you should make a map, just a rough sketch.
Who or what is/was Mammon?
Do disease and poisin work any defferently in hell?
What was the original Ninth House, Dagoth Ur?
Stats for Spawn would be welcome.
Specifics of the Rose Accord.
Are there any unique weapons, like fire-arms for instance?